Hello all!! My name is Tony, I'm from the UK, me and my partner are planning on going traveling in 2016.
I know it possibly sounds like a cheat but we are doing a guided tour called 'southern sun' with a company called TrekAmerica. (Which has been recommended by a friend) Which takes 21 days and takes us from New York to LA. This is mainly to ease us into traveling, haha!! From LA we are hoping to travel the west coast alone and make our way to Canada (Vancouver). However we are struggling to work out what flights we would need, and that would also be most cost effective? As I have been told you need to prove to America that you'll be leaving the country?
Also if anyone could recommend any good car hire companies and/or good places to stay on the LA to Vancouver route that would be awesome
Also when we finally arrive in Vancouver we hope to stay there for roughly 2 or 3 months but wondered where the best place to stay for that long would be? Would it be cheaper to rent a apartment or something, Rather than motel/hotel? We will have 3 others joining us when we arrive in Vancouver (they will be staying with us for around 2 weeks).
I have so many questions and have so much planning to do this year any help would be much appreciated
You don't need any flights. The trip up the west coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver is lovely with tons to see along the way. If you want to skip past some of it and you're on a budget then jump on the train (Amtrak) or bus (Greyhound.)
You mention a rental car between LA and Vancouver. That would be the best option by far, the Pacific Coast Highway is absolutely spectacular. You'd have to arrange a one-way drop off though somewhere in the US before you cross into Canada and that's usually hellishly expensive.
That's a long time to stay in Vancouver, one of Canada's most expensive cities. Are you planning getting a Working Holiday Visa? (Now renamed International Experience Canada.) If you don't know about this option have a look here:
You can enter the US under the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) if you meet certain criteria:
Good luck with your research and have fun.
Thank you for your reply, it was mainly our flights from the UK I was worried about? As if I'm correct we will have to prove we will be leaving the states, but will have no proof if driving to Canada? If that makes sense? We do plan to travel up the West coast by train or bus if cheaper than car rental.
Would you recommend a working visa for Vancouver? Or would you say 2 weeks are long enough there? As we could possibly travel and see more of Canada?
For flights from the UK to New York travel agents and Google is your friend. Lots of options but they're of course all immaterial now because you're travelling in the distant future.
With a tour booked you likely won't be asked for proof of onward travel but you can easily cover that by purchasing a refundable bus ticket from Washington state to the province of British Columbia. The cost will be super cheap.
I'm not recommending any type of Working Visa, I just threw it out as as option to perhaps boost your travel budget. In your Original Post you mentioned 2 or 3 months in Vancouver, that would be very, very expensive.
So would you recommend just getting a one way flight? Although it seems a one way flight is 3x the amount as a return! I understand we will need to wait until may/June before airline release flight prices for next year.
That's really helpful Infomation about the bus ticket from Washington to British Columbia, where abouts would we go about purchasing those from? Or is that something we would get when there?
We have actually had a think about what we plan to do, I believe we are going to stay in Vancouver for 2-3weeks then continue to travel on to Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton Etc.... See abit more of Canada.
Thank you for taking time to reply to my posts.
No, I didn't recommend a one-way flight, as you've discovered that's usually ridiculously expensive. I was simply offering a a cheap option to "prove" that you're leaving the US. You would purchase it from the bus line I mentioned in Reply #2.
Western Canada is spectacular. You could easily spend a lot of time just on Vancouver Island and in British Colombia and Alberta.
Tony, for an idea (at this stage) of flight prices I suggest you look at skyscanner. Though I don't know of any of the screenscraper sites which will quote an open jaw flight automatically - which is what you really want; into one city and home from another.
I see two options. You could pop into a specialist travel agent like travelbag sta or trailfinders (in the uk there are various branches of these) and get their help with open jaw flights.
Or you could find a cheap return flight to a hub in North America and find short hop single fares from that hub to ny / home from Vancouver/Calgary as necessary. Quite possibly this could be as easy as a cheap return lon-ny and a single Calgary-NY.
If you like the outdoors I'd try to spend two or three weeks going from Calgary up through Banff and Jasper doing the glaciers and hot springs. More interesting than Vancouver to me.